As a Mormon with Eastern roots, I found this article woefully lacking (HCN, 10/27/08). Mormons are not part of the Christian right cabal. Look at Harry Reid, for crying out loud. I voted for the Green candidate in 2004, and Obama in the California primary and may well vote for him again.
Ray Ring simply overplays the usual, old, stale (tiresome) Western Mormon stereotypes -- which often make us out to be a bunch of old-fashioned oddities visiting Planet Earth from the 1950s. If Ring was going to go down this route, he should have given equal time to what makes our faith so remarkable and appealing to the more than 13 million adherents.
We, like others who have a deep sense of faith in Christian values, serve our church, our community, and like any other families, we are busy bringing up our kids and don't have much time for anything else.
We teach values in our homes -- and that includes tolerance and respect for others. Yes, Ray, even gay people. In the East, where I am from originally, our church is full of people from different races and nationalities -- not only Latino, but African, Asian, African American, Haitian, European. This, I am sure, is hard for New West liberals to grasp -- that the Mormon Church is diverse. But keep writing about Salt Lake and Rexburg all you want. You will miss the point of Mormonism every time.
In our church, not just in the East but here in California and all over the world, women speak from the pulpit every Sunday in thousands of LDS chapels everywhere around the world. Yes, Ray, they have real leadership positions, even. You would even find black bishops if you wanted to, but best stick to those stereotypes.